Wednesday, August 29, 2007

About a month ago (more or less), someone (June?) posted a link to a recipe at epicurious that sounded good, so I printed it out and last night, I actually got around to giving it a try. Let me start by saying that I'm a lazy slob of a cook, so I didn't actually follow all of the directions (big surprise there, eh?). However, even given my shortcomings along those lines, the dish was delicious and I highly recommend it if you like you a salty, savory dish.

The first thing I didn't do, was use boneless chicken breasts with the skin on. These are not available in my average grocery store - the best I could do would be to buy bone-in, skin on chicken breasts, but I hate removing the bones myself (falls under the category of "more trouble than it's worth"). (I notice that they don't include deboning in their time estimate. Humph.) I was worried that this might make the meat a bit too dry, but I seem to have worried needlessly.

The second thing I did was buy the already chopped olive mix from the olive bar at the grocery store rather than buying olives-in-brine and chopping them myself. What is lost in that the already chopped olives dry out a bit was gained in having several different flavors of olives available in the mix.

The last thing I didn't do was bother to "stuff" the chicken. Without chopping the olives finer than they were already, I didn't see that stuffing it was going to be a winning proposition. The directions in the recipe weren't clear (to me) on exactly where to make the incision, so I abandoned that part.

My version of the recipe came out like this:
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, salted and peppered
1/3 cup almonds, skin on
1 cup chopped olives from the olive bar (mix of several types of green olives)
2 T butter
3 T water
2 T parsley, chopped

Melt one T of butter in a skillet. Add almonds; cook over medium heat for 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove almonds from pan, set aside to cool on cutting board.

Add chicken to skillet, pour in olives. Cook over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes, till golden brown on bottom. Turn chicken breasts over, cover skillet and cook for another 5-7 minutes, till cooked through. While chicken is cooking, chop the almonds.

Remove chicken from skillet, add second T of butter and water. Stir till melted and blended. Add almonds and parsley, stir. Pour mixture of olives, almonds, etc. over chicken breasts. Serve with sourdough bread.

This was easy and well appreciated even by the pickiest eater I have.

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